Tuesday, October 23, 2007

15 October 2007

My irritation from the evening before was still in place upon waking up when I went to shower to find that there weren’t towels in the bathroom (other than to dry my feet). This does not bode well for the start of the day. Upon checking out, the owner of the El Dorado reminds me that breakfast is being served and complementary. I pack the bike up and head into the dining room to find, not surprisingly, that it is empty. Not once did I see another person staying there and everything looked unpicked over like I was the only person it was set out for. Around the room I identify photos of actors and scenes from Lawrence of Arabia, Two Mules for Sister Sarah and Fistful of Dollars. Upon closer inspection I can identify portions of the town in the older pictures or can imagine the newer buildings not there that would create the scene from the movies.

Last night I felt like this hotel had seen a better time. This morning, with this further information, I can visually identify the 1960’s Hollywood influence in the décor and can imagine this town in an earlier time, a time that stood still for this small hotel and left the rest of the town to rely on the chemical plant on the outskirts of town. There appears to be no shortage of money to build high end resorts, but what will happen to the El Dorado?

I truly don’t care what happens to the town, but I feel a bit of nostalgia when I think that had I been here 40 years ago I may have been dining with Laurence Olivier, Alec Guinness, Clint Eastwood or perhaps even Dr Doolittle. Add a fresh coat of paint, a few other touches and fill the hotel with people and the grand piano in the sun room would be in its element.

As cool as this find (hundreds of photos) was, I had to move on and away from this town that couldn't survive its elegant past. Down the coast following the map…haven’t I already determined that the maps in Spain aren’t even suitable as toilet paper? I am determined to find the small towns and follow the route that one of the guide books laid out, yet I can’t seem to locate half of the roads that are either on the map or in the guide books. They are either unmarked, are marked with a different number or some other issue that I haven’t quite sorted out (possibly user error). Whatever the issue is/was, I eventually found all the sights that I lined out several days ago. Some weren’t as impressive as the book noted (Gato de whatever was, well, whatever), others were quite spectacular, while others might have an upside during high season, but none of them could give me the satisfaction that I found by shear accident.

After wending my way through a small section just above Andalusia, I was determined to get back on track after a bit of lunch in Armenia. Since I am on the coast, I am determined to eat right on the Med as much as possible, so I make my way to the beach and find a nice little local hangout overlooking a very sparsely populated beach. There is something about a long wide strand of sand that makes me want to walk out and stick my feet in the water. I take note of the foot was as I walk down and right into the Mediterranean Sea. I see one of the best looking women that I have sighted in ages, yet remain focused on getting a beverage and something to eat. I order a beer and a meat plate believing that I would be getting a similar to what I have had and seen all over up until this point. Instead I got two lamb kabobs, chicken breast, pork and BLOOD SAUSAGE! Of course I had to dig right in. If I were to have any rules, Rule number 1 would be: Do not eat blood sausage and get on a motorcycle and expect to travel 300kms before nightfall. Okay, let me tailor that…Do not eat blood sausage unless you are going right home for the day to hover near the toilet or you are a female astronaut not averse to wearing depends.

The interstate in Spain has issues. It goes from 2 lanes of no traffic into 1 lane of stop and go. In this part of Spain there is 100kms of construction to the interstate diverting to the coastal road that runs through small towns and has more curves than Ursula Andres. It is virtually impossible to get somewhere by planning how far it is and predicting what speeds you will run at.

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